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IPR Import Restrictions Sought on Internet of Things Devices

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Commission received Oct. 3 on behalf of Lakshmi Arunachalam a petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding Internet of Things devices and components thereof. The proposed respondents are located in Germany, Korea, Canada, India, and the U.S.

Section 337 investigations primarily involve claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including the infringement of patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress and false advertising, may also be asserted.

The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop infringing imports from entering the U.S. In addition, the ITC may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory.

The ITC is requesting comments no later than Oct. 18 on any public interest issues raised by this complaint. Comments should address whether the issuance of the limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders requested by the complainant would affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:

- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;

- identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;

- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

- indicate whether the complainant, its licensees, and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested orders within a commercially reasonable time; and

- explain how the requested orders would impact U.S. consumers.

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